The Covid -19 epidemic seems to be altering the foundations of even the most otherwise sane members of our society. In times such as this, we mere mortals rely on specialized “professionals” to lead us when we feel little control over our circumstances. However, we have lost our true compass as a productive society when even these exalted members of our community appear to be at a loss for answers or abuse the trust given to them.
One day Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expresses the importance of staying in our homes not to spread the virus. Days later, he says that extended periods within our homes will be destructive to our national economy.
It is far easier for many to believe that the education, talent, and expertise of specific individuals among us will soon restore order over this epidemic than to acknowledge that life as we knew it might never be returning.
Nonetheless, professionals among us need to be aware of how their behavior and actions impact how many of us feel as we strive to survive this crisis.
Who has not experienced turbulence on an airplane? If you are like me, you immediately observe the conduct of the stewardess on the plane and pick apart their reactions during such anguish.
Is this uniformed professional my needed calm within this turbulent storm or the cause of my thoughts of impending death? Where is the reassuring pilot’s voice on the loudspeaker? Why isn’t he or she speaking to us passengers? Are they too occupied with avoiding crashing the plane, perhaps?
So many of us need that welcome relief of reassurance from those we put our faith in when we seem to have lost control over our destinies. We need the calming steady hand of the plane’s pilot during that rough ride thousands of feet above the earth. We await not only a voice to emerge from behind the pilot cockpit but also a calm countenance.
We want to know that order, procedure, and experience will win the day whenever we have faith within the hands of others who have achieved certain standing within our communities.
Doctors, lawyers, pilots, and police officers are but a few of the professions who are given immense power over ordinary citizens. In turn, we citizens rely upon these trusted individuals to not abuse their power when our lives are often in their hands.
Unlike my airplane passenger of terror example, we all have experienced that same sense of dread passing by a police officer who has seemingly hidden in wait to stop our travels for speeding or what we may consider another trivial error in judgment. It is common for us to question whether such intimidation over an ordinary citizen is the most productive way for our tax dollars to be funded.
Inevitably, being stopped by a traffic cop with a badge and gun for a mere speeding ticket can be one of the most frightening experiences. Too often meant to intimidate, the thought of a live deadly weapon on the thigh of an agitated police officer appearing at our car door is one most of us seek to avoid.
While we may be agitated and frustrated at being handed a traffic ticket in such a frightful manner, we usually recognize the reasoning behind a police officer’s actions in curtailing driving misconduct.
However, when things go wrong, those given the power to arrest someone with the legal authority of a gun, taser, or baton do so in an arbitrary manner. It is then that our faith in those in positions of power and their institutions become questioned.
Though we wish to turn away from the everyday realities of confronting our world during a global epidemic, we must confront them on some unfortunate occasions. It is then that we pit one professional class against another in a fight to restore order when the normal course of events goes haywire.
A lawyer website focused on DUI laws and procedures I recently encountered contained an informative blog posting on the need to have lawyers look into how traffic cops have been conducting drunk driving arrests during the Covid crisis. The issues discussed the very situation an acquaintance of mine recently went through when he was almost wrongfully arrested.
As if not enough, a family member of his was dealing with a Covid-19 diagnosis. Unfortunately, this man came to realize that the Covid virus would unfairly affect him in another way as well.
On his way home from a health care provider, this gentleman was stopped for suspected drunk driving. He told the officer that he wanted to blow into a portable breath test at the scene of his stopped vehicle to prove conclusively that he had consumed no alcohol whatsoever before being stopped.
He was told that because of Covid concerns, he would not be asked to blow into the portable breath test to protect officer safety. I was surprised to learn that he was not able to call a lawyer during this process and felt powerless as he waited for the situation to sort itself out.
The result was hours of him languishing within a police station before being released home based upon no legitimate evidence to hold him. I wonder how many other people in such a situation have not been as fortunate to have been released under such circumstances.
The lawyers responsible for the blog posting speak of this very situation being on the rise due to cops being afraid to conduct proper breath testing during the present Coronavirus outbreak.
The discussion focuses on how breath test procedures as a result of the Coronavirus must be scrutinized very carefully to ensure that people’s rights are adequately protected if stopped for driving while intoxicated.
Despite this pandemic, the general public has a right to expect those police officers to maintain the same level of professionalism as before this global virus outbreak. Whether a police officer or health care professional, the public must be able to rely upon safe and lawful practices being maintained no matter the challenging circumstances around us.
Let us hope that professionals such as policemen and doctors keep a steady hand during this time and recognize that the general public is relying upon them to lead with a calm bedside or roadside manner.
Now more than ever responsible people of goodwill must not allow a pandemic to further erode public discourse and responsible social practices. Let us take the time to recognize the differences people may have as to how they go about living their lives responsibly during this pandemic so long as their actions do not adversely impact the lives of others.